Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 51 (9179 total)
4 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Post Volume: Total: 918,197 Year: 5,454/9,624 Month: 479/323 Week: 119/204 Day: 19/16 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Biological Evidence Against Intelligent Design
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 7 of 264 (543978)
01-22-2010 3:19 PM


The examples offered so far are all against a perfect designer, not an intelligent designer. As often as we've heard it said that "Any mechanical engineer could design a better knee joint," the fact of the matter is that it isn't true when the materials are biological. And it isn't true in spades when you add the requirements of self repair and drawing energy from the blood stream and so forth.
The argument from design is that evolution is insufficient to account for the diversity and complexity of life we see both today and in the past through the fossil record, and that therefore an intelligence must have intervened.
How often the intelligence intervened, whether it was continually, periodically, sporadically or just once (and even whether it is still intervening), depends upon which brand of IDist you're talking to. And no IDist proposes any mechanisms by which the intelligence intervenes.
But imperfect design is only an argument against a perfect designer. A real-world designer would face real-world constraints, even including things like deadlines and budgets. In the real world compromises must always be made, and perfection is a goal that is never met.
--Percy

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by greyseal, posted 01-22-2010 3:42 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 11 by bluescat48, posted 01-22-2010 3:55 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 133 by Peepul, posted 02-03-2010 11:52 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 21 of 264 (544076)
01-23-2010 7:53 AM


Let's Argue Against a Real Theory of Intelligent Design
The Dover Board of Education that added intelligent design to their school district's curriculum were typical IDists. That is to say, they were creationists who latched onto ID as the only practical way to oppose evolution but who had no real understanding of ID. If you read the books about the Dover trial (I've read four), what stands out about the board members advocating ID is that none could define it. When asked to define it, Bill Buckingham (the board member most prominently advocating for ID) gave a pretty fair definition of evolution.
In other words, at least in the United States your typical IDist is actually a creationist who thinks that "intelligent design" is just a politically correct way to say "creation." He thinks the intelligent designer created man and all other life around 6000 years ago, that he flooded the planet around 4500 years ago, that he sacrificed his only son about 2000 years ago. In other words, your typical IDist is a creationist who thinks the intelligent designer is God, and who probably within his own mind is thinking "creation" whenever he says "intelligent design."
There's no need to argue against this poverty stricken conception of ID. The people who think this way aren't going to understand the arguments, and it makes no sense to argue this way against IDists who have a more sophisticated perspective.
A truly scientific IDist, one who excluded the supernatural, would be one who believed that conditions on the earth were insufficient to produce the diversity and complexity of life's history over the last 4 billions years. That wouldn't mean he's advocating an infinite regression. He would recognize that there would be planets in the universe where conditions were conducive not only to life but to complex and very intelligent life. He would simply be arguing that Earth is not one of those planets, and he would be looking for evidence of intelligent intervention in life's history.
Arguments about the knee and the eye and the appendix are irrelevant against this more scientifically genuine theory of intelligent design. Whether the octopus got a better eye than mammals would be a function of who happened to be on that design team, whether it was adequately staffed, how much time pressure they faced, what were the budgetary restrictions at the time, resource availability, what stage of technological innovation they were at at the time, and so forth.
Too occasionally we do present this enriched form of ID to IDists in an attempt to illustrate the poverty of their own view. We do it to try to help them see how they're using ID as an excuse to stop thinking, instead of as an impetus for exploring new avenues of inquiry and research.
I think this thread has already touched on one of the valid arguments against this more sophisticated form of ID, the argument of the nested hierarchy of life. Another might be our inability to identify any mechanism by which an intelligence might have intervened. Yet another might be that the continual intervention required to produce the evidence we find in the fossil record is preposterous on its face.
--Percy

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by PaulK, posted 01-23-2010 8:16 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 23 by Iblis, posted 01-23-2010 8:53 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 64 by xongsmith, posted 01-27-2010 12:16 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 182 of 264 (546109)
02-08-2010 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by xongsmith
02-08-2010 1:38 PM


Re: Complexity
I think your equation is more representative of the amount of information rather than the complexity.
Which means it is precisely analogous to thermodynamic considerations.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Add a second comment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by xongsmith, posted 02-08-2010 1:38 PM xongsmith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by xongsmith, posted 02-08-2010 8:16 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 185 of 264 (546189)
02-09-2010 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by xongsmith
02-08-2010 8:16 PM


Re: Complexity
xongsmith writes:
How would you define "complexity" in biology?
I don't know how I would define complexity in biology, but you're defining it as something that's equivalent to the amount of information, as if lots of information means complexity. I'm pretty sure complexity is not just a synonym for lots of information.
What you seem to have in mind is Kolmogorov Complexity, and I don't think it's about the kind of complexity you have in mind. It's closer to a measure of the amount of information in a string after you've removed the redundancy. By this approach the amoeba genome is more complex than the human genome.
If you check out the Wikipedia article on Kolmogorov Complexity you'll see in the section on Compression that most strings are complex. I think Kolmogorov complexity is similar to information theory in that some of the terms it uses have precise mathematical meanings that aren't the same as their everyday layperson meaning.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by xongsmith, posted 02-08-2010 8:16 PM xongsmith has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 201 of 264 (546289)
02-09-2010 7:30 PM
Reply to: Message 199 by traderdrew
02-09-2010 7:02 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
I don't think ID would be possible without the scientific method.
Huh? The most prominent people in the ID movement are opposed to methodological naturalism, meaning that they want to violate the very first step of the scientific method and hypothesize mechanisms for which there is no evidence. If IDists truly followed the scientific method then ID would be impossible.
How do you falsify the statement, "All things were made by natural processes."? To disprove it you must go through an infinite number of possibilities in order to prove natural processes can explain life as we know it.
This is an example of induction (not proof) a core component of scientific reasoning, and by no means do you have to examine everything everywhere throughout the universe. By your logic the statement, "Water boils at 100oC at standard temperature and pressure," could only be falsified by testing every water molecule in the universe. This isn't how one does anything, whether one is attempting to support or disprove a hypothesis.
To support a hypothesis ("The universe is natural") you gather evidence to see if the hypothesis is supported. If sufficient evidence is gathered then the hypothesis becomes accepted and might even become theory. In order to falsify this hypothesis or theory one only needs observations of the non-natural. Examining everything everywhere is not part of any facet of the scientific process.
Beyond IDs unnaturalistic tendencies and claims, the difficulty with falsifying ID lies with its malleability. We can't offer the nested hierarchy of life as evidence of ID, because an IDist could always respond, "The designer chose to create in a nested hierarchy." This is actually the same response offered by creationists, except they don't try to hide the fact that the designer is God.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by traderdrew, posted 02-09-2010 7:02 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by traderdrew, posted 02-09-2010 10:03 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 206 of 264 (546336)
02-10-2010 7:05 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by traderdrew
02-09-2010 10:03 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
When there is more than one cause or factor for something such as the evolution of biological forms, it is much more difficult to narrow down the causes of the results. So when the past is reconstructed, science infers the best explanation. This explanation isn't always the same thing as the truth.
In other words, you think abandoning methodological naturalism and inferring non-natural and unevidenced causes would have a better chance of leading you to the truth. What kind of truth are you talking about? Scientific truth? I don't think so. I think you're seeking answers that confirm your religious beliefs.
But for the sake of argument let's say that you're scientifically motivated. Do you have a single example of including the possibility of non-natural and unevidenced causes yielding scientifically valid answers?
The entire history of science is one of studying phenomena of unknown origin or mechanism and figuring them out. Can you name any phenomena which ever resolved to non-natural causes?
Technology developed under naturalistic assumptions surrounds you. Look around you. See anything developed under non-naturalistic assumptions?
But just for a moment let's say the abandonment of methodological naturalism would yield better scientific answers. In that case let IDists go ahead and abandon it and show the world the better scientific answers they come up with. The next generation of scientists will beat a path to their door, because after all who doesn't want to win a Nobel.
Of course, this experiment was already performed in the pre-Renaissance. It was called the Dark Ages.
ID is merely an effort to protect the religious sensibilities of Christian evangelicals. Those of them who are scientifically savvy enough to know that the world couldn't possibly be only 10,000 years old become IDists. And those who haven't a clue about science claim to be IDists because its the new thing that appears to be their only chance of displacing evolution from the classroom.
The only way we can discuss valid scientific biological evidence against ID is if ID is scientific. If ID isn't scientific then it isn't possible to even have this discussion. And if ID rejects methodological naturalism then it isn't scientific.
I believe the scientific explanation for the flagellum involves horizontal gene transfer. It apparently serves as a work around for a "flagellum first - ID position" saying both the TTSS and the flagellum evolved independently. Scientific explanations sometimes have hidden problems their proponents or participants on the evcforum do not wish to see. The models may appease their emotions but what good does it do if they don't wish to see things another way.
You're as confused as a mad hatter. If there's valid evidence for horizontal gene transfer in the evolutionary history of the bacterial flagellum, why on earth would science have any objection to it? So, is there valid evidence of this? Or, in the grand tradition of ID, are you proposing solutions for which there is no evidence?
The reality is that you're proposing solutions for which you have no idea whether there is any evidence or not. As it happens, horizontal gene transfer in the evolutionary history of the bacterial flagellum is already the topic of scientific study, e.g., this research paper published a few years ago in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology: Phylogenomics of the archaeal flagellum: rare horizontal gene transfer in a unique motility structure
Gee, how about that, you're wrong again!
Water boils at 100 celcius is one of those explanations where one cause is responsible. The Big Bang is one of those theories, although not perfect, is the best explanation for the origin of the universe and if you wish to ask, my ID side is satisified with it because whatever comes into existence must have a cause.
Not content with the number of unevidenced solutions you've already proposed, you just had to propose one more. The best evidence against ID is that you can only seem to propose answers for which you have no evidence and which are based solely upon your intuitive and probably religiously based beliefs.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by traderdrew, posted 02-09-2010 10:03 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 1:54 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 211 of 264 (546392)
02-10-2010 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 1:54 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
Where am I wrong?
Apparently, one of us has no idea what you said in Message 202, and I think it's you. Here's what you said:
traderdrew in Message 202 writes:
I believe the scientific explanation for the flagellum involves horizontal gene transfer. It apparently serves as a work around for a "flagellum first - ID position" saying both the TTSS and the flagellum evolved independently. Scientific explanations sometimes have hidden problems their proponents or participants on the evcforum do not wish to see. The models may appease their emotions but what good does it do if they don't wish to see things another way.
Aren't you arguing for HGT as a superior explanation for the bacterial flagellum, as opposed to "scientific explanations that sometimes have hidden problems that their proponents or participants on the evcforum do not wish to see."
And so I asked you rhetorically why in the world you think science wouldn't consider HGT an acceptable explanation (as long as it was accompanied by evidence, of course), and then I showed you that science is already considering HGT as a possible explanation, and I provided a link to a single paper as an example.
"Where am I wrong?" you ask. Your example of something science was refusing to consider was actually something that science is already considering.
And adding to a previous comment, I am the type of person who has to know the realities of life...
And for you the realities of life include things you can't see or hear or anything else. If you want to run your life that way that's your business, but you might stop and think a minute about how well this approach is serving you. You can't go more than a paragraph or two without another howler of an error. When it comes to figuring out what's what you can't beat facts. Give fact gathering a try sometime, you might find it works pretty well.
It seems to me people try to evade the truth painting the picture of reality they wish to see.
And so your preferred approach is to paint pictures of a reality you can't see?
Science does not paint a "picture of the reality they wish to see." Consensus across many individuals across many cultures, countries and religions removes any possibility of a single driving viewpoint, but that's exactly the case with Christian evangelicalism, the primary province of ID.
I don't think reality works like that and in my opinion, it severely foolish and unwise to do want things a certain way.
You mean in a certain way that doesn't correspond to the reality we can see and hear and touch?
When reality touches your senses it is telling you important information. It is only when we began giving priority to the information from reality rather than from our own imaginings that scientific progress began in earnest.
So why do I continue to debate this stuff when you don't even wish to consider it as a possibility?
I have no problem with ID as a possibility. The problem I have is when people like you argue that ID, which has no evidence, should be taken as seriously as evolution, which has mountains of evidence.
I don't think ID is truely scientific.
Except for the spelling, I think you've finally got something right.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 1:54 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 3:21 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 217 of 264 (546417)
02-10-2010 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 3:21 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
I cannot determine what scientists as a whole are thinking at this time. I can judge what I see from Darwinists on this forum and a couple of other places where I have been.
Surely you're not saying that you can't type "horizontal gene transfer bacterial flagellum" into Google, which is all I did. The paper I linked to is the first hit right at the top of the page. Real rocket science.
You asked where you were wrong, I told you. Your reply, in essence, is, "I can't be bothered getting things right."
The irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife. You're arguing that we should be paying greater attention to things outside of reality (whatever the heck that is) while getting everything wrong because you're not paying attention to the things inside reality. The very approach you're advocating is failing you WHILE YOU'RE ADVOCATING FOR IT!
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 3:21 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 4:19 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 224 of 264 (546437)
02-10-2010 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 4:10 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
Didn't you read the post I made to Percy today?
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1147112v1
While these experimental studies examined transfer solely into E. coli, a computational analysis of gene transfer rates across available bacterial and archaeal genomes supports that the barriers observed in our study are general across the tree of life.
If modification was the only thing that was necessary...
Your excerpt from the paper's abstract is not saying that HGT isn't possible. It's only talking about the type of "barriers observed in our study." Obviously HGT is possible, there's abundant evidence for it. Here's a link to the full paper:
But I provided that link only for completeness because the specifics of the paper aren't anywhere near as germane as addressing your misconceptions, but I will tell you that the paper says they examined 246,045 genes and found 642 different genes that they considered untransferable to E. coli. See how wrong the conclusion you drew from the abstract was?
...what did the precursors look like and why did they not reject a host of different genes across the board?
We can only figure out what precursors looked like to the extent we have evidence.
And the precursors probably did reject many different genes. As the paper's abstract says (the part you didn't bother quoting), gene dosage and expression levels have a significant impact on transfer failure rates.
Can you please explain how the "approach" would have prevented the discovery of radio waves and quantum mechanics?
I don't think you understood my comment. They didn't know about them back in those days. If they just assumed the universe was what their five senses told them then, they never would have found these things.
This is probably your most significant misconception. The discoveries of radio and quantum mechanics were not made because people dreamed up concepts for which they had no evidence. The evidence came first.
Evidence is the first step of the scientific method. You observe (gain evidence of) a natural phenomenon, and the next step is hypothesizing explanations for the phenomenon that you then investigate through experimentation and/or more detailed observations.
For example, some of the earliest evidence for electromagnetic waves came from Michael Faraday's observations of iron filings responding to a magnet, and he hypothesized about the nature of the causative force. Maxwell later greatly extended his work.
Someone of an unscientific mind who did not possess Faraday's discipline might have hypothesized angels or the unseen hand of an intelligence, pretty much the same thing ID does.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Grammar.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 4:10 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 226 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 9:30 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 225 of 264 (546439)
02-10-2010 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 4:19 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
I didn't see anything about the paper that showed me how the flagellum evolved from particular precursors. All I saw was some exploration of possibilities under HGT. It doesn't convince me. If I should be so overwhelmed by the evidence then, why don't you cut and paste specific sections out of the link?
Traderdrew, what are you, the Forrest Gump of EvC? I told you that science agrees with you, that HGT probably *did* play a role in the evolutionary history of the bacterial flagellum. About that, you're right!
Where you went wrong was in using HGT as an example of something science wouldn't consider in the case of the bacterial flagellum. About that, you're wrong! Dead wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG! That's why I linked you to a scientific paper researching HGT's role in the flagellum's evolutionary history. I knew that was a mistake, because now you're getting yourself all confused because you're trying to read the paper and apparently can't make heads or tails of it. Forget reading the paper. The details of the paper are irrelevant. What's relevant is that scientists are already researching the very possibility you accused them of not considering. And they're considering it because there's evidence for HGT in all genomes everywhere. Why the heck would they fail to consider something that is ubiquitous?
I told you I am willing to go half way but you insist that this is irony.
Okay, Forrest.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 4:19 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 9:37 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 230 of 264 (546480)
02-11-2010 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 227 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 9:37 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
Where you went wrong was in using HGT as an example of something science wouldn't consider in the case of the bacterial flagellum.
Did I state that? Where did I state it? Why would I state that when I believe HGT has the most potential for explaining the bacterial flagellum.
I hereby award you the Buzsaw award for outstanding uncomprehension above and beyond believability. Explaining things to you only seems to confuse you further, but I'm going to walk out on a limb (I know I'm going to regret this) and repeat what I said back in Message 211:
Apparently, one of us has no idea what you said in Message 202, and I think it's you. Here's what you said:
traderdrew in Message 202 writes:
I believe the scientific explanation for the flagellum involves horizontal gene transfer. It apparently serves as a work around for a "flagellum first - ID position" saying both the TTSS and the flagellum evolved independently. Scientific explanations sometimes have hidden problems their proponents or participants on the evcforum do not wish to see. The models may appease their emotions but what good does it do if they don't wish to see things another way.
Aren't you arguing for HGT as a superior explanation for the bacterial flagellum, as opposed to "scientific explanations that sometimes have hidden problems that their proponents or participants on the evcforum do not wish to see."
I've taken no position on HGT's role in the evolutionary history of the bacterial flagellum. I wasn't trying to turn the discussion onto the topic of the flagellum. The flagellum has been discussed to death here already. I was pointing out to you that your use of HGT as an example of something science wouldn't consider with regard to the flagellum was dead wrong.
I really have better things to do.
Maybe you do, but I sincerely hope there are things that you do better than this. I'm sorry about the insults but I've just spent my last four or five messages to you explaining to you what it was you said that was that so wrong, and you apparently still don't get it, and it would be ridiculous to pretend that this unbelievable inability to understand anything isn't really happening and that we're actually having a productive discussion. What you're doing is one of the techniques employed by trolls to prevent discussion from making any progress, except obviously you're sincere.
My point, and this was probably a misconception of you was that whatever you don't see doesn't exist.
I know this is how you're translating it in your mind, but science does not say that what you can't observe (directly or indirectly with any of the senses) does not exist. It says that what you cannot observe cannot be scientifically studied.
Why does a supernatural creator have to use supernatural processes?
Why does ID claim that the creator and the manner in which he created must remain forever unknowable? That's a reference to the supernatural, right? Because anything that happens in the natural world leaves evidence behind. But if your supernatural creator is leaving natural evidence behind, then that evidence is what you should be talking about in this thread.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 9:37 PM traderdrew has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by Blue Jay, posted 02-11-2010 8:58 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 232 of 264 (546499)
02-11-2010 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 231 by Blue Jay
02-11-2010 8:58 AM


Re: Poor Philosophy
Oh, I get it. When he said, "I believe the scientific explanation..." he didn't mean that HGT is the explanation he accepts. He meant that he thinks HGT is the currently accepted scientific explanation. Thanks for clearing that up.
AbE: I went back and tried to see if rereading some of Traderdrew's stuff in light of this new interpretation would clear anything up, but it only gets more confusing. I don't know what he's trying to say, and I don't think he does either.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Add comment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by Blue Jay, posted 02-11-2010 8:58 AM Blue Jay has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by traderdrew, posted 02-14-2010 9:37 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 236 of 264 (546541)
02-11-2010 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 226 by traderdrew
02-10-2010 9:30 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
I concluded certain genes were toxic to E. coli and inhibited their growth.
Notice that in Message 234 Taq told you precisely what I told you. Now you've got *two* people who have interpreted the paper for you and told you the same thing.
I think you are seeing only a part of the study.
Drew, you're not making sense. How can you state that you think I've got it wrong, and then in your next paragraph state that, "I'm going to admit that I really don't know what is going on in the cut and paste above." What on God's green Earth is causing you to reach conclusions on topics you don't understand? If you don't understand something then keep an open mind. The way the process works is, "Facts and study first, conclusions later." You're doing it exactly backwards.
I think it's great that you're willing to put forth the effort to read scientific papers, but if all you're doing is looking at the words without comprehension then what's the point? It doesn't seem to matter to you what you read, you think it all supports your views. Lacking any conceptual framework in which to make interpretations, you're just freely superimposing your own personal viewpoint on whatever you read.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 226 by traderdrew, posted 02-10-2010 9:30 PM traderdrew has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 238 of 264 (546856)
02-14-2010 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 237 by traderdrew
02-14-2010 9:37 AM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
The most simple and powerful way of refuting it is, how does natural selection preserve each step or even a few simultaneous steps in the process of building it from a TTSS?
First of all, while "a few simultaneous steps" are not impossible, they're considered sufficiently unlikely that we should leave them out of the discussion. Don't even think about them.
So the scenario you're thinking of is a mutation that causes the organism to have something more closely resembling the bacterial flagellum, and you're wondering how that mutation survives the filter of natural selection. The answer is that if the organism is able to survive and reproduce so that the mutation becomes represented in succeeding generations, then it has been selected by natural selection. Whatever qualities the mutation conferred, if any, they had no significant negative effect on survival and reproduction and may have provided some positive benefits. This is because if the mutation had caused the organism to become significantly less competitive in its environment then it would either produce fewer offspring, no offspring, or perhaps even die shortly after "birth."
In other words, the mutation must have either conferred an advantage or at least not have put the organism at a disadvantage. It's no mystery that the process of descent with modification filtered by natural selection is in action.
But if you want to know the details of the mutations and their order of occurrence for the bacterial flagellum, we aren't in the possession of sufficient evidence to know this at this time, and we may never have sufficient evidence.
have been trying to be objective. We all under the influence of our own biases, even scientists. Just look at this link here. This ought to get some of you stirred.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/...ases/2010/02/100209183335.htm
Why on Earth would evolutionists become "stirred" (I assume you mean upset) by which evolutionary path for birds is indicated by the evidence? If Ruben's ideas about bird evolution are what the evidence indicates then everyone will get on board. What gets us stirred up is when people suggest evolutionary pathways that have little or no evidence, which seems to be the case with some of Alan Feduccia's ideas about bird evolution. By the way, Ruben has published papers with Feduccia, so it wouldn't be surprising if it turned out that some of his ideas have some of the same weaknesses as Feduccia's.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by traderdrew, posted 02-14-2010 9:37 AM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by traderdrew, posted 02-14-2010 1:26 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 240 of 264 (546947)
02-15-2010 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by traderdrew
02-14-2010 1:26 PM


Re: Poor Philosophy
traderdrew writes:
My point really was we are all, to a certain extent, subject to what we wish to see.
That's why science is a consensus activity. All the biases of Christians and Hindus and Moslems and atheists and Americans and Russians and Chinese and Africans and republicans and parliamentarians and democrats, and so forth and so on, must all be of no consequence in order for a scientific consensus to emerge.
Contrast this to science as practiced by creationists, who are almost exclusively evangelical Christians. Wouldn't you agree that the creationist community is suffering from a bit of a lack of diversity? Whose views, scientists or creationists, must by the very nature of the structure of their communities be less vulnerable to bias and preconceived notions?
When you argue that scientific explanations aren't the same thing as truth (see your Message 202) you're running the risk of conflating definitions from two realms, the scientific and the religious. If by truth you mean religious and spiritual truths, then science doesn't seek truth at all. But if by truth you mean things that are true about the natural world, then scientific explanations *are* the same thing as truth.
If creationists had their wish then science would be a way of seeking both spiritual and natural truths. This is why creationists want science to abandon the methodological naturalism. That's not going to happen, for two reasons, one definitional, the other practical.
First, methodological naturalism is woven into the fabric of what science is. You could no more remove methodological naturalism from science then you could remove "round" from the definition of "circle."
The practical reason is that creationists have not a single example of non-natural science producing anything scientifically meaningful. As I've said many times, if creationists could start producing better answers than traditional science science at Christian colleges then future scientists would beat a path to their doors, there'd be a scientific basis for Christianity, and we'd all become Christians. Just showing how abandoning methodological naturalism provides better answers for something, anything, even if it's just one example, will be very convincing. It doesn't matter what it is. Use Christian scientific techniques to provide better earthquake predictions, or better oil search methods, or better vaccines, or better space rockets, or better something. Just provide an example of creationist approaches providing better science just once, and then maybe you'll have something.
This challenge is rhetorical, of course. As I said before, non-naturalistic approaches have been tried in the past, it was called the Dark Ages.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by traderdrew, posted 02-14-2010 1:26 PM traderdrew has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 241 by traderdrew, posted 02-15-2010 9:56 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024